Novel computer viruses and worms can sweep the world within hours, leaving a trail of devastation, because firewalls and antiviral software work by identifying the telltale signatures of known attacks. They are useless against anything completely new.
But now software engineers at Icosystem in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have developed a program that can predict what is coming next by "evolving" future hacker and virus attacks based on information from known ones. The company is testing the technique with the help of the US Army's Computer Crimes Investigation Command in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
The idea would be to generate these novel attack strategies centrally, then remotely update the intrusion-detection software protecting PCs and networks around the world. This would allow them to recognise attack patterns before hackers have even developed them.
That will be a Darwinian approach then...